Let’s talk soccer. Because soccer is all anyone is talking about right now. Dear Lord, I couldn’t even get through a chorale rehearsal with out my director making some comment about it.
I recently learned that the reason for the hub bub is that it is the World Cup. I also recently learned that it only happens every four years. I was so surprised to learn that because it seems to me that there is some sort of hoop la surrounding soccer at least once a year. It also seems to have an extremely long season. Like baseball. And pregnancy. I swear Facebook is spattered with soccer talk for at least nine months out of the year.
Here’s what I know about soccer:
1. I like the knee high socks.
2. The players are hot.
Really, it seems to me that it is required that you be a stone cold fox in order to play. Though Caren says, the adult male soccer player is also typically an arrogant, self absorbed, ass but I don’t know about that. I don’t know any adult soccer players.
I actually played soccer for a spell. It’s crazy because I’ve never played any other sport and it’s probably the one I know the least about. After I married Man and we moved to Dallas, I was looking for a way to meet people and make new friends. I had been hanging out with one of his co-workers and she had suggested we join a soccer league. She used to play when she was a kid. There was an indoor soccer league that she had had tons of fun with.
“It’s not serious at all and everyone is super friendly and helpful!” she boasted.
“I don’t know. I really hate running and there seems to be an awful lot of running involved.”
“With indoor the field is really small so you just don’t short sprints.”
For whatever reason the indoor was unavailable but there was an outdoor league. I’ve always liked those cute knee high socks and so I thought I’d give it a go. We signed up. I bought the socks.
Note: Knee high socks on an average height woman is thigh high (nay…crotch high) on those of us who are a little more vertically challenged. After folding them down a few times though, it worked. I looked like I had Popeye calves but…you know…that could be intimidating. Maybe.
I bought shin guards.
Note: shin guards hardly guard your shins. You get kicked a lot in soccer and even though you have “protection” it still hurts like a mo fo. Yes, I realize that that means it would only be worse with out the guard but I felt I was given a false sense of security in this regard. It also does nothing to ward off shin splints.
I bought cleats.
Nothing to note here. They were super cute and made me feel like I could run really fast.
Apparently the outdoor soccer league was a little more serious than the indoor. We had about two practices a week and they started with laps around the field and push ups and things like that. There were dribbling drills and passing drills. You don’t actually kick a ball with your toe, you know. You kick it with the inside of your foot but it all happens so fast and I was never given time to line myself up just so and…it just went badly. Also, an outdoor soccer field is huge. There were no short sprints here and there. It was a freakin’ marathon from one end to the other.
My friend Tara joined the league as well. She’d never played soccer before either but she had played collegiate basketball. She was fast and agile. They put her on offense. She’d fly down the field with the grace and speed of a gazelle and pluck the ball away from our opponent and then pop it into the goal with the ease of picking a cherry.
I was slow and unsure of the rules so I was a defender. I spent a lot of time standing on one end of the field waiting for the ball to come to our side. When it would, I had one “play.” I’m not even sure if it’s legal or not. First of all, you have to wait for the ball to cross a certain point, some imaginary line that I was supposed to be aware of. Once the offender crossed that line with the ball I would run full speed straight at her like a game of Chicken. I’d run right up until we’re about to hit and then stick myself like a post in the ground. She would either have to dribble around me, increasing her chance of losing the ball (because none of us were really very good) or she would run right smack into me and that would mean she’d definitely lose the ball.
After one such collision, my opponent and I repeated apologies as we helped each other up and assessed one another’s damage. My coach was screaming at me from the sideline to stop “playing nurse and get back in the game!”
“But she’s bleeding,” I explained.
“No she’s not! You are! Now get back in your position!”
Sure enough, I looked down and my knee was all bloodied up. I was so proud of myself! It didn’t even hurt! Not like shin splints. Those suckers hurt! I still have a scar on my knee from that play. Yep. My glory days in soccer.
So there you have it. That’s about all I can tell you about soccer. It’s pretty much like every other sport. You try to get the ball from the other team and put it in the thing farthest from your team. It’s probably way more fun to watch live than on TV and it’s also probably way more fun to play than to watch. Based on that theory, I think I’m good to skip the whole event all together.